The 26-year-old defenseman has already missed 23 games this season with a lower-body injury, and the Canucks have missed him dearly. In the seven games he played early on, they went 4-2-1. Without him, their record was 8-14-1.
Tanev returns after Tuesday’s disastrous loss in Carolina, where the Canucks blew a 5-2 lead and lost, 8-6. Vancouver’s other top defenseman, Alex Edler, has also missed the past eight games with a broken finger, and will continue to miss more.
True to form, just as Tanev is ready to return, Erik Gudbranson could be out. Head coach Willie Desjardins said this morning that Gudbranson was being evaluated for an injury and may not be able to play tonight.
With four straight home games, the Canucks desperately need some wins to get back in the playoff race. Tonight it’s Tampa Bay, Columbus is in town Sunday, then Winnipeg visits for two games next week.